We may have hundreds and thousands of possessions around us, our multiple achievements and goals, but not many of us are actually happy. In fact, the more we gather, spend and acquire, the less content everyone seems. It really is a conundrum in everyone’s life that we have to try so hard to get something that should come naturally to every human being. 

People try to find happiness in a lot of things: their relationships, religion, traveling, their careers or their goals in life. In order to be happy, we try to change all the aspects of our life, but the truth is: it is possible to be happy with just what we have. 

Here are 25 of the most universal and celebrated ways to be happy in your life, without changing much around you. 

  • Are you sleeping well? Many of us have less than 7 to 8 hours of sleep every day, much less than what we need. Sometimes, it’s deliberate when we stay up late to watch television or read, or simply scroll through Facebook. However, simply by sleeping at least 8 hours a day you can feel a lot calmer and happier.
  • If there’s a particular bad habit that you have that’s bothering you, try doing something about it. Breaking out of a bad habit such as smoking, sleeping till late, having too much caffeine every day, etc. can make you feel much happier. 
  • Alternatively, if there’s a good habit that you think you should have, try it. If you think you need to eat more vegetables or read more books, try it for a few weeks and you’ll find yourself feeling more satisfied. 
  • Exercise isn’t only about losing weight or getting a toned body, but also for a happier and calmer mind. When you exercise, your brain releases a special chemical known as dopamine– the chemical that brings the feelings of happiness and pleasure in a person. 
  • Keep remembering your happy memories, and try to ignore all the negative ones. Positive memories from your childhood work best to make us happier in a matter of seconds, so this is something you can try. 
  • Take a break from your social media sites for a little while. It doesn’t mean that you need to deactivate all your accounts, but just limit your exposure to what other people are doing. 
  • Another sure-fire way to feel happier is to limit your spending. For many of us, spending money makes us happy, but it also leaves us anxious and guilty. If you can limit your unnecessary spending, you might not be feeling the short-time happiness of a purchase, but you’ll feel better in the long run. 
  • Avoid all the negative thoughts you have. It might not be very easy to put away everything negative that comes to your mind, but you can at least try to focus on the positive aspects of everything that happens to you. 
  • Of all the people in our life,we should only pay attention to the people who matter the most to us. There will undoubtedly be people who criticize you, anger you or don’t want the best for you, and there’s no need to pay much attention to what they have to say. 
  • Be aware of what you want for yourself, and not what others want for you. Many times, we give in to social pressure and try to achieve what others want for us, setting aside our personal goals and dreams. This ultimately makes us unhappy, and this is definitely something to rectify. 
  • A good way to be happy is to be accountable for your own good. Whatever happens in your life – good or bad, instead of blaming others or giving them the credit for it,accept your responsibility. You’ll certainly feel more at peace with yourself if you can do it. 
  • Inspect your own situation in life. Are you happy in your relationship? In your career?  Are you comfortable with what you have achieved in your life? If you are not happy with the major decisions you have made in your life, you have to change something to be happy. 
  • Be actively grateful in your life. It’s not enough to simply think or say that you are grateful, but you have to actively remind yourself of all the things you are grateful of in your life. You can try saying them aloud before bedtime every day, or write them down in a journal every morning, but a daily remainder is good for your happiness. 
  • Whether you have been successful in achieving them or not, you should have a clear idea of what your idea of your best self is. Think of where you want to see yourself after 10 years, and how far along you have come to it. 
  • Be kind and compassionate towards others, without expecting anything for yourself. Kindness is something you owe other people around you, and it never hurts to be sympathetic. Even if you don’t get the same treatment from others, you’ll feel happier inside for being a better person. 
  • Instead of always focusing on what you can buy and own,concentrate more on the people around you. Your expensive belongings aren’t going to make you feel better when you are depressed or sad, but cultivating your relationships can always be the support you need. 
  • Smile more – that’s a great way to feel better about yourself. Even when you don’t exactly have something to smile about, smile. Smile at people in your office and at the barista serving you coffee. 
  • Treat yourself to something you love. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to make yourself happy, but you can do something for yourself that you enjoy doing: buying books, going to the movies, eating at a high-end restaurant or buying clothes for yourself. 
  • Do you know what feels even better than receiving a gift? Giving! Start giving to the ones less fortunate than you. Give away your old clothes to charity, and not only on Thanksgiving but all year round. 
  • If your career isn’t something that makes you particularly happy, you won’t have to stop yourself there. Do something that has always been your dream, even as a hobby. If you had always been musical but given up on it to try a more academic career, you can still try and play some instrument in your spare time.
  • Forgiving can be hard, but it will certainly make you feel happier. At least, it is more peaceful than holding a grudge against someone for years; so if you have been angry at someone for a long time, maybe it is time to let go of your anger. 
  • Not everyone believes in it, but meditation can be a great way to find happiness. People who meditate regularly seem happier, calmer and more accepting of everything they can’t control in their lives. 
  • Confidence is a key in happiness, but how can you increase self-esteem? It’s not going to be easy, but you can gradually raise your self-confidence by believing in yourself, always seeing the positive side of everything, and being optimistic. Seems too far-fetched? Just try it! The more you tell yourself you are self-reliant and the best possible version of yourself, the more confident you can become. 
  • Wherever you are in life, never forget the values you wereEverything your parents and loved ones taught you while growing up: be kind, be grateful, be true to yourself, always put family first, never be dishonest – these core values are extremely important in our life. If we deviate from them, we can never really be happy in our life. 
  • We all have so much to do every day, but the important factor is not to burn yourself out. By doing more than what we are physically and mentally capable of, we can completely exhaust ourselves, and that’s not the right track to take. So, always stay within your limits and stop right before a burnout. 

The secret to happiness isn’t the same for everyone. Some of us need to do more to be happy and some of us need to do less; some of us can be happy with what we already have in our lives, but for others, it’s a matter of what they can achieve but haven’t. However, for every one – every single living being in this world – it is a fundamental need to be happy, and to live this short life that we have with the most that we can manage.